How To Get The Most Out Of Your Accountant
We’ll start with some uncomfortable reading. Your accountant, nice enough… the chap (?) you (maybe?) see once a year, who tells you what you did, more than one year ago, who you don’t really want to see because a) you’ll get a few sheets of paper accompanied by an invoice b) (s)he’ll also tell you how much tax you owe or worse, c) (s)he’ll tell you that you don’t owe anything at all because you haven’t made a profit for another year running and it’s not because of some clever tax scheme. There’s a small bit of good news in fact. You are owed money. By your business. Because you keep having to pump money into it. The bad news is that the business can’t pay you yet and (s)he’ll also tell you who else is waiting to be paid by your business, but that’s nothing that you didn’t already know. And there’s still a invoice. Due now.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. A good accountant is someone who is close to your business. They should know it (almost) as well as you do, warts and all. An unofficial business partner. One of the good guys. A good accountant will keep in contact with you throughout the year. It’s a two way thing. Don’t wait for them to call you. Call them. Drop them an email and let them know how it’s going, good and bad.
A good accountant will help you to see the wood for the trees. They can do this because they aren’t right inside your business, like you are. They are on the outside looking in. They will also help you to keep on top of current figures and without breaching confidentialities, share good and bad business practices, perhaps introduce you to something you hadn’t thought of, steer, discuss the pros and cons, decide & take action. And you’ll do what you told yourself (and them) that you’d do, because you know it’s for the best. You’d be mad if you didn’t, because it was a calculated decision. And you’ll most likely be better off for it, either in the mind or the pocket or both.
Worried about additional contact costing more? Get yourself onto a fixed fee. Even better, pay for it over the year in monthly instalments. They will soon tell you if something is going to cost more. It goes without saying that a good accountant is usually qualified (look for FCA / ACA / FCCA / ACCA) and keeps abreast of changes in laws and regulations. But it’s more than this. A good accountant is passionate about business, about maximising values (whatever these may be) and if you are an owner managed small business person, may be the biggest asset your business has.
Use them wisely!
Ask us how you can get the most out of Harlands service. We’d be happy to tell you!